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How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Phenix City Alabama

Phenix City AL CNA taking man's blood pressureNow that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Phenix City AL. After you have attained your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the USA. Although it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it's important that you choose the ideal school to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to deciding on a training course requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.

The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Phenix City AL Nursing Assistant helping man on crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Phenix City AL hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Providing basic care to patients
  • Checking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and helping patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also work in Phenix City AL nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.

CNA Training

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Phenix City AL vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Schools

Phenix City AL woman attending online CNA coursesAttending CNA schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Phenix City AL. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Why Become a CNA?

A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital component of any Phenix City AL medical team. As a matter of fact, health care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that he or she is employed by. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as eating, bathing and dressing. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their reports about each patient’s condition. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right job for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.

Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes

What to Ask Phenix City AL CNA training programsOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Phenix City AL area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Phenix City AL healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant Training

Phenix City AL CNA with nursing home patientPicking the ideal certified nursing assistant college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Phenix City AL.